NATIONAL

Park loyalist hints at presidential run with revived Saenuri Party

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 10, 2017 - 14:18
  • Updated : Apr 10, 2017 - 17:25
Rep. Cho Won-jin has joined the newly formed Saenuri Party and hinted at a bid for the presidency, adding further discord to the already divided conservatives.

Cho is a pro-Park Geun-hye lawmaker who had until recently been a member of the Liberty Korea Party founded by lawmakers with ties to the former president. The old Saenuri Party, which was named under Park’s leadership, was dissolved and lawmakers unaligned to Park formed the Bareun Party.

Rep. Cho Won-jin announces his departure from the main conservative Liberty Korea Party at the National Assembly on Sunday. On Monday, he joined the new Saenuri Party, formed by supporters of ousted President Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap)

“(I) will become the kindling of hope for the victory of the conservative right, and for the future of Korea and prevent the establishment of a dismal left-wing government,” Cho said.

Cho said that he will make a decision whether to run for the presidency by Wednesday.

Cho also condemned Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong Joon-pyo as having his own agenda, and rejected his call for conservatives to band together.

“(A conservative alliance) is an act that will anger the already enraged conservatives. Hong is not interested in the presidency, he wants to drive out the pro-Parks and form the ‘Hong Joon-pyo party.’”

He added that a number of Liberty Korea Party lawmakers are considering leaving the party, and that an alliance with the Bareun Party would prompt more conservative lawmakers to defect.

Saying that the Liberty Korea Party is failing to counter “leftists’ instigations” Cho claimed that the upcoming election was a fight between “justice and injustice, truth and lies.”

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)